Kehl am Rhein

General information: First Jewish presence: unknown; peak Jewish population: 156 in 1905; Jewish population in 1933: 109
Summary: This Jewish community was established in 1881. Services were conducted in a private residence, where a prayer hall had been set up, until 1889, when local Jews inaugurated their first synagogue. In 1924, prior to which burials had been conducted in Freistett, the community consecrated a cemetery in a section of the municipal burial grounds. A women’s association and a welfare organization for migrants were active in Kehl in 1933. The teacher instructed 18 Jewish children that year. In October 1938, a Jewish family was deported to Poland. One month later, on Pogrom Night, the synagogue interior was damaged and its ritual objects destroyed. Jewish men were imprisoned in the town hall together with Jews from the surrounding communities; they were brutally whipped by SS men, forced to torture each other, marched through the town and, finally, sent to Dachau. The synagogue was demolished later that year. Fifty-seven Kehl Jews fled the country, 39 relocated within Germany, seven died in Kehl and 22 were deported to Gurs in October, 1940. Two Jewish women avoided this transport, but were deported to the East in 1941/42. At least 55 local Jews perished in the Shoah. In 1983, a plaque was unveiled at the synagogue site; in 1991, a stone pillar was erected next to the old town hall as a reminder of the brutalities committed there on Pogrom Night.
Photo: Cantor Lazarus Mannheimer in the synagogue of Kehl. Courtesy of: City Archive of Kehl.
Author / Sources: Heike Zaun Goshen
Sources: AH, AJ, EJL, HU, PK-BW
Located in: baden-wuerttemberg